Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse
Century Black
Black Metal
9 songs (48'29)
Release year: 1994
Reviewed by Valefor
On a rainy February day in the year 1996, I bought Emperor's In The Nightside Eclipse on a whim, intrigued by the logo, the name, the cover art, as well as the frames of the individual band members on the back. I was looking for Black Metal, and there was not a lot of it to found at the time. So, after shelling out my $15.00, I drove home, full of anticipation, popped the CD into my stereo, and was blown away.... I had never heard anything even close to this and even today there is nothing that approaches the atmosphere created on this release. From the first note, to the last, this album simply oozes malevolence. I am not going to get into the infamy surrounding 3 of the 4 members of this lineup, but it was the first and last release to feature Bard Faust (battery) and Tchort (bass guitar). On to the music... The production sounds somewhat cavernous, as if it was recorded inside the ruins of an ancient castle, which is perfect for this style of music. One of the complaints that I have with a lot of Metal , is that the guitar tone is too bright. Not the case here, as the guitars are compressed, and sound like they are fed through a half-open chorus pedal, giving them a sinister, slithery feel. The dual guitar assault, supplied by Samoth and Isahn, is fast and brutal, weaving sinuously around the keyboards, which are also handled by Isahn. The keyboards are of note here, due to the fact that they have never been used like this before in the realm of Black Metal. They have the effect of a demonic choir most of the time, while they also are utilized as war horns and strings, lending a dark majesty to the syncopated onslaught. The battery is comprised of relentless blast beats and double shots, interspersed with a lot of crash work. Though not as technically accomplished as his replacement (Trym) , Faust gets the job done quite well. The vocals are the tortured scream which is so common to this genre, and are fairly low in the mix, another plus... too many bands have the vocals drown out the music. There are also some clean vocals, though only on one track, Inno A Satana. The lyrics, of course, do not deal with picnics in the meadow, but neither are they of the Deicide, "I hate God" stripe. Rather they are paens to all that is dark and desolate, and are rather cryptic at times, the majority of them penned by ex-member Mortiis.. Every song is excellent; there is no filler. Each song is unique, with plenty of breaks and changes. This is another thing that separates this band from some others in this genre, they are musically capable enough to keep things interesting. The best way that I can think of to describe this album, is that if Richard Wagner were to compose Black Metal, this is probably what it would sound like. A lot of people have compared Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir to these guys, a comparison that is unfounded, in my opinion. Emperor makes Dimmu Borgir sound almost happy. If you like cold, dark, well played music, this album is essential. After 7 years in my possession this masterpiece of dark art still leaves me cold.
Killing Songs :
All of them, but Into The Infinity Of Thoughts, Cosmic Keys..., Towards The Great Vast Forest, The Majesty Of The Night Sky and Inno A Satana especially stand out.
Valefor quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Emperor that we have reviewed:
Emperor - Emperor/Wrath Of The Tyrant reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Emperor - Live Inferno reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Emperor - IX Equilibrium reviewed by Aaron and quoted 89 / 100
Emperor - Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk reviewed by Daniel and quoted CLASSIC
Emperor - Prometheus - The Discipline Of Fire & Demise reviewed by Danny and quoted 88 / 100
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